When it comes to early access games, you won’t find a more complete, immersive world to explore and build. Satisfactory from Coffee Stain Studios is as beautiful of a game as it is fun to play. Satisfactory has been in early access since March 2019. Nearly four years later, development is still going strong. The only thing missing is the story to go along with the game.
So far, all we know is that you are dropped onto an alien planet by your employer (Ficsit), and you need to exploit its resources to build more…
I have been playing Satisfactory for over three years; I have over 1000 hours in the game. To say it is addictive would be an understatement.
There are 12 resources in the game for you to exploit and make ever more complicated items to send up a space elevator. Here is a list of minable resources in the game.
- Iron Ore
- Copper Ore
- Limestone Ore
- Caterium Ore
- Raw Quartz
- SAM Ore
If you build it…
When first dropped onto planet “Massage-2(A-B)b”, you can mine and craft items by hand. But that will become tedious very quickly. To speed things up, you will want to automate. Automation is what makes this game so addictive. Instead of crafting iron ingots from iron ore to craft iron plates, you can build a smelter, put an electric miner on a resource node, and feed the ore to a smelter via a conveyor belt. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a conveyor belt go up.
Then you can feed the ingot straight into a constructor from the smelter to produce iron plates. It takes a couple of seconds to set up but then you will have a constant source of iron plates. You can then send the iron plates into a storage bin via a conveyor, and there you go. Anytime you need iron plates, hop over to the iron plate storage and top off your inventory. Do the same for all the other essential items, such as concrete, iron rods, copper wire, & copper sheets, and you will be able to build almost everything in the game.
With basic materials setup, you can start laying down foundations, which makes setting up large production lines much more manageable. But be sure to start making concrete as soon as you can. You will need a lot of it for foundations.
You don’t need to add walls initially, but you can build upwards if you find yourself in a tight space later. So building walls and adding new floors is a way to go. That’s the beauty of this game. You can do whatever you want, from “wildly unrealistic builds” to “clean, organized factories.” Build to your heart’s desire. That is the whole point of the game at this juncture. I promise it is very Satisfactory.
A story is coming to the game, but not until version 1.0 comes out. Fingers crossed; 2023 is the year this happens, but don’t hold your breath. For now, there is a ton to do in the game. I love building large layouts in the game with train tracks linking all my factories up. But you don’t have to build much if you don’t want to.
The main benefit of doing so is that train tracks transmit power. So you can hook power up to a train station near your power plant and only drop rail across the map. Then place a train station at the location where you want to create another base and hook power up to that station, and you will have power at your new location.
The blueprint designer was introduced recently, making large layouts easier to duplicate. There is an elaborate UI for saving and organizing blueprints for further use as you need to expand your factory.
Speaking of power, there are several ways of creating power in Satisfactory, each will give you a set of unique challenges in setting up.
The Biomass burner is the first and easiest way to get cheap, easy power in low quantities. The HUD has two biomass burners attached to it, in order to get you started. Simply feed them grass, wood or any other biomass found on the planet for cheap power. They cannot be automated though so you will have to continually feed them.
Eventually you will find yourself feeding 20 or more Biomass burners. The process will become tedious. That’s when it is time to start looking for an alternative. The next best alternative is going to be coal. You will need water as well to feed the coal burners, but once setup properly you will have constant power. No more cutting down trees and pulling grass to feed your burners.
Geothermal generators could be thought of as bonus power. You can only drop them on geysers; there are only 18 on the map in total. The generators will produce between 50 and 600 MW at a time, depending on the purity of the geyser. Geothermal is as close to self-sufficient, green energy as you will get in the game without mods.
They work great in conjunction with batteries as they will constantly be creating energy regardless of demand.
Once you start to pump out products in the later game, you should transition to fuel generators. They will make an excellent investment to keep the ever-growing factories powered. If you choose to build these generators, try to unlock turbo fuel as soon as possible for the biggest bang for your buck.
Fuel Generators will likely require a factory of their own to supply them. The investment is well worth the time, though.
Nuclear Power Plant
Before you attempt to build your first mega factory, Nuclear Power may be needed first. Making a large factory is only possible if you can power it correctly. The supporting factory for a nuclear setup will be massive in its own right. The rewards are near limitless power, though. Just make sure to keep the factory on a closed loop. If not, you risk starving the plant. Denying the plant even one product can have catastrophic implications.
Exploring this vast world is just as much fun. You’re provided with four starting locations when you first start the game. Once you realize later that all those places are starting points in the same world, you realize just how large it is. There is only one map for this game. When exploring, remember to keep an eye out for cave entrances. There are many caves in Satisfactory. Some of them are large enough to host factories themselves.
There is no base defense in the game, but when you stray too far from your starting point, you’ll run into some spooky natives. Most of them are not friendly. You will need weapons to make your way through the world. Weapons will need to be unlocked through the tech trees, which means building.
Not so Satisfactory Enemies
While exploring, you will run into enemies, from hogs to elephant-like creatures called Spitters. There are also flying crab aliens and spiders. The spiders are the scariest creature you will come across for now. The hogs, Spitters, and spiders have different variants, such as regular hogs and much more giant alpha hogs. You will want a Xenobasher weapon if you run across any of them.
There is an arachnophobia mode for those who can’t handle spiders. This option turns the spiders into kitty cats. Deadly kitty cats. Update 7 landed in December 2022. With it comes the ability to turn on passive mode. So if you leave the creatures alone, they will leave you alone.
All the parts you manufacture in this game are not for naught. You are building ever increasingly complex items to send either to your HUB or sent up the space elevator to unlock more incredible items. You will also use a MAM (Molecular Analysis Machine) to unlock things. This part can be confusing for new players.
Instead of just unlocking things from one place, you have 3. But progression can be slow if you aren’t big on building vast amounts of machines to make the items quickly. This typically allows you time to explore all of your options and learn the mechanics of the game.
There are many ways to transport resources around the map.
Conveyor belts are the most common way to transport resources. They will be needed even if you use the other modes of transport. They are best utilized in compact factories or for short runs. Although using them exclusively is also very fun and reliable once set up.
For a little more, mmmpphh. Trucks are a fun way to move items from point A to point B. They can be tricky to set up, but recent updates have made the process slightly easier. They are an excellent early-game transport option.
Trains may be the most popular way to move things around, including yourself. I should have mentioned the explorer vehicle, which you can use to move around the map. But the train is ole reliable once you get the lines set up. Not only will train tracks move your train around, but they also transport electricity. So you can hook up power to the train station at your power base and receive power at any other station you drop down in the world hooked up to the same line.
This is the main reason I use trains almost exclusively. It’s a great way to get electricity around the map, and I can hop on a personal train, set my destination, then sit back and enjoy the views.
Drones have been in the game for about a year, and I still seldom use them. They take quite a bit of resources to get going. Again as with other parts of the game, they have gotten easier to set up. But trains still reign supreme. Drones are good for getting small quantities of goods from one side of the map to the other quickly. They will play a much more significant role in the game once SAM ore is needed.
If you like to beat games fairly quickly, this may not be a game for you. But if you like laid-back, slower-paced building games such as Factorio or Timberborn, you will love this game. I can’t stress the graphics of this game enough. It’s beautiful.
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 10 or later (64-Bit)
Processor: i5-3570 3.4 GHz 4 Core
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Dedicated graphics card, GTX 770 2GB
Storage: 15 GB available space
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
Storage: TBD MB available space
Additional Notes: Internet connection required for multiplayer. The game is in early access and minimum requirements may change.
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